Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith met with the media on Monday and answered their questions about the Texans' 34-24 loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Here are some takeaways from the presser.
The Texans have been in every game. I guess that's something positive this season. Although the 10 point loss was not as close as it seemed, Lovie saw it differently. He saw it as a great sign that the Texans had the ball in the fourth quarter with chance to take the lead. Let's not forget, they went down 21-0 before Dameon Pierce's long TD run in the second quarter. And they only had seven points on the board until about 1:15 left in the 3rd quarter.
Lovie had to defend Rex Burkhead's usage, again. When Lovie was asked why Burkhead was in the game on an important 4th and 1 play, Lovie pointed to the TD Burkhead scored and asked why nobody had an issue with him being in the game on that play. Lovie also pointed out that the play failed because nobody blocked Khalil Mack, and Burkhead was not at fault.
Dameon Pierce had a breakout game, but he still wasn't on the field for the biggest play of the game on 4th down. Lovie repeatedly told the media that Pierce can't be on the field for every play, but he's clearly missing the point. People are concerned about Pierce not playing in high leverage situations. No one expects Pierce to play every snap of the game. Pierce finished with 131 rush yards on 14 carries. He also caught 6 passes for 8 yards receiving.
Lovie said this was the team's worst performance on defense. The defense was unable to turn the ball over and Justin Herbert was only sacked once while throwing for 340 yards and 2 TDs. The Texans rush defense gave up some big scores to Chargers RB Austin Eckler, but they kept the rushing yards in check. The Chargers only rushed for 81 yards on Sunday.
The Texans aren't making a QB change, according to Lovie Smith. Before Dameon Pierce ripped off his long TD run, making the score 21-7, backup QB Kyle Allen was seen with his helmet on getting loose. Many believed he might soon be entering the game, but Pierce's impressive run may have gotten Mills off the hook. The team has no plans to replace Mills at this time.
Special teams did a nice job causing a turnover in the fourth quarter, but Davis Mills and the Texans offense were unable to capitalize and settled for a field goal. Lovie mentioned that he was happy the team had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but after the Texans field goal, the Chargers went right down the field and scored a TD to ice the game. Hardly something to be excited about.
Be sure to check out the video above to hear Lovie's full commentary on the game.
Up next: The Texans head to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars on Sunday.
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.